Black Mirror remains one of the more disturbing works of sci-fi in the 2010s, especially as it pertains to how executive producers Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones keep accidentally predicting technology or advances that actually happen in the real world. With the highly anticipated Black Mirror Season 4 set to debut on Netflix later this year, Collider’s own Perri Nemiroff recently sat down for an extended interview with Brooker and Jones at New York Comic-Con 2017.
During the interview, which you can watch in the video above, the duo discussed their favorite episodes, how they feel about all the secrecy, and go deep on Uber ratings as it relates to the Season 3 episode “Nosedive.” But Brooker and Jones also provided some specifics for Season 4, including a Treehouse of Horror-type episode which will include Easter Eggs and callbacks to other episodes in the series. Brooker explained:
“It used to be that when people said [it was a shared universe] I’d go, ‘No it’s not a shared universe at all!’… But now, in this season one of our stories is an episode called ‘Black Museum’ and it’s a Treehouse of Horror episode, it’s like an anthology within an anthology. We did it before when we did a Christmas one and we did three stories in one, so it’s kind of like that. And within that episode we’ve got explicit nods and winks to other stories we’ve done, and we’ve got lots of Easter Eggs—we turned on an Easter Egg hose in there. We’re kind of building on things and concepts we’ve had in other stories. So sometimes it is a shared universe and sometimes it isn’t. It’s a shared notional universe. Psychologically shared universe (laughs).”
“Black Museum” serves as the final episode of Season 4 and is directed by Colm McCarthy, who helmed the well-reviewed horror film The Girl with All the Gifts as well as episodes of Peaky Blinders and Sherlock. So that’s certainly one to look forward to.
Perri also asked the two if, given the show’s popularity, they’ve ever been approached about a Black Mirror movie. Jones said indeed they have, multiple times, but they don’t really think it’s the right fit:
“We have yes, flatteringly a few times. But in our maybe pretentious heads we sort of feel we’re already making a film, you know? They’re certainly structured like films and they’re all independent, so I don’t really feel the need to do that. The story is the interesting thing, not necessarily the size of the screen on which it’s played out.”
She’s not wrong—each episode of Black Mirror is usually at least 60 minutes in length, and they’re all incredibly dynamic. It really does feel like watching a film each time out. Moreover, as Brooker pointed out, with Black Mirror they don’t have to go through a lengthy development process to get to production:
“And plus we don’t have the development hell that all movies end up going through. We have the opposite problem in a way, we have breakneck speed and we have to make six films a year effectively, is the way we look at it—which is a good problem to have. If a story idea presented itself that required like a $300 million budget and a two-hour runtime then maybe, but otherwise we do feel like we’re making a mini film festival with each season. So it’s hard to see what would make us stop doing that.”